Words of Wisdom

A wise old sage who lives far, far away in an enchanted land whispered these words of wisdom in my ear when it comes to the future of our beleaguered national organization here in Canada.

And despite my promise to never mention its name again, which I won’t, I will pass on the wily old sage’s insightful musings.

For the record, here’s what the great Karnak predicts:

Instead of any attempt at real engagement with existing and potential new members the Canadian Amateur Radio community is going to be blessed with something called a “foundation license.”

I suspect the barriers to passing the exam may well consist of little more than the ability to fill out a form, spell your name and address and know the address of the nearest Ham Radio retail store.

The requirements to understand anything about radio communication are likely to be so minimal that any old half blind (no slight to the visual impaired implied) CBer who understands the difference between running a vertical antenna or going to the flat side should pass with flying colours.

And this shouldn’t be taken as a slight by CBers either. I used to be one myself when we were crystal controlled and actually only ran 5 watts. I mean can you imagine just five watts!

Anyway the current basic examine is so easy that a few years ago one Oakville guy who almost never showed up for class and knew diddley squat about radio passed by guessing over 50% of the right answers.  He was actually on the air (might still be for all I know) but I don’t think he ever really enjoyed the hobby.

So now we’re going to get a whole wave of new Hams…or maybe not. The current test is no barrier to anyone with a wit of ambition. Even my wife passed it and she hates electronics. Curiously she loved the CW and has HF privileges (which she’ll never use after listening for five minutes to 80 meter SSB).

There’s going to be a lot of backslapping when the new license gets announced but I wonder if we’re going to be happy with the result?

Next proclamation according to our perspicacious elder is we’re going to hear it said that the national association is now running in the black. Normally this would be something I’d be thrilled to announce but look carefully at how we got into the financial mess we’ve been in and what were the measures applied to get us out.

I’m not alleging anything but I am saying when you don’t have increased revenue resulting from an influx of new members or sales of association services or products then the turn-around has to come from cost cutting.

So what didn’t we get or what didn’t we do? I guess we’re never going to know.

At this rate we’re still going to be in the black when we’re down to the last 12 members and will someone turn out the lights on the way out?

Finally we come to restructuring of the infrastructure in Ontario. I have many many thoughts about this change (and so does the Internet and some of them haven’t been kind) but let’s just wait and see how many Hams in Ontario rush in to fill the new spots that have been created.

Sorry to say but the whole story that the old wise man whispered in my ear sounds so much like the outcome of the elections in Argentina. Six more years of Hugo and six more years of not lifting the lid to see what’s actually festering under the surface while we continue to skip down the road oblivious to what really needs to be done.

And somewhere out there I can hear our friend Waldo whistling in the dark wondering where all his friends have gone.

I leave you with the words of another great sage.

Yoda said “Do or do not…there is no try.”

He also said “You will only find what you brought in.”

Ponder that for awhile.

My next post will be on how to get involved in contesting (CQ DX SSB is two weeks away) for newcomers. It will be much more interesting that the above. I promise.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment,”  – Buddha

Finally – I promise – I leave you with the thought to read anything by Hunter S. Thompson (recommend Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 Might remind you of what we’re going through right now.) and the last word goes to our wise man in the south:

“It’s a dangerous country.”

Thompson would have agreed.

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